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Some people assume that there isn’t a major difference between commercial and residential plumbing. Whether it a single-family home or a large multistory building, doesn’t the water run through the same kind of pipes? Aren’t there similar types of appliances and fixtures present in service areas and washrooms of commercial and residential buildings? If it is all identical, why is it that a plumber who can stop leaks in a residential apartment cannot do the same at a commercial building?

The reason is that the plumbing issues in commercial and residential settings are not the same. When we look closely, we can see that there are small details that make commercial plumbing and residential plumbing different from each other. What are those details? Read on to find out.

Mechanical Parts

Mechanical equipment used in residential settings is not the same as that used in commercial areas. For example, in most residential apartments a gas or electric water heater is installed. Is the same heater used in commercial setting too? Yes, but in most apartment complexes and multistory buildings, commercial boiler is used with a storage tank. Installation of these systems is different from installation of a typical water heater.

In major municipalities, the issue of water pressure presents a problem for multistory buildings. If the water pressure isn’t sufficient to service a building, a house pump or water booster must be installed so that the water pressure can be boosted to acceptable levels. Booster pumps may also be installed in residential settings, but they are not as large or as complex as the ones that are used for commercial buildings.


A commercial building’s plumbing system is a lot more complex than that of a residential apart. In an average house, there are about five people while a commercial building can have more than 300 people. More people mean more pipes and more pipes mean more pressure on the plumbing and more complex problems.

The plumbing task becomes more complex because of the huge size of commercial setting. Mapping out a skyscraper’s plumbing system is more difficult and complicated compared to the planning that is required for a home. Plumbing problems for both residential and commercial buildings may appear the same, but the truth is the problems found in commercial buildings are much more complex and a different approach is required to tackle those problems.

Risk Factor

Since the commercial plumbing systems are more complex and require additional care, the risks in these environments are higher. Whether it is a home or a commercial building, a plumbing disaster will always be a headache, but the costs of a plumbing disaster at a commercial setting will be much higher than an issue in a residential apartment. Both commercial and residential plumbers are careful when handling plumbing issues, but commercial plumbers are more skilled and have gone through advanced training to mitigate risks. If you hire a residential plumber to handle a plumbing problem in your commercial building, he/she will not be able to take into account the serious risks and may cause more damage to your plumbing system.

The safety codes and laws for a commercial building’s plumbing are mostly more strict because lives of many people are at stake there. Commercial plumbers are aware of these laws and use their experience and knowledge to ensure that the repairs are safely made to a plumbing system.

Different Equipment

A plumbing system of a residential setting is quite different from that of a commercial building. There are more pipes and fixtures and the material that is used in the plumbing system is also different from that commonly used in a residential plumbing system.

Due to this reason, plumbers use different equipment to fix plumbing issues in the two environments. Generally, commercial plumbers can use the advanced equipment to handle residential plumbing tasks, but the residential plumbers can’t expect to fix a plumbing problem in a commercial building through their ordinary equipment. Most of the times, residential plumbers aren’t experienced or qualified to use the advanced equipment required for commercial plumbing.

Unusual Working Hours

Residential plumbers usually work 9-5 from Monday to Friday. However, for commercial plumbing, the time for repairs varies. Manufactures, agencies and businesses cannot afford to lose their valuable work hours and if serious plumbing issue needs repairs, the commercial plumbers must work during off-time like holidays, weekends and overnights.

Plumbing Fixtures

It is true that all applications use plumbing fixtures, but the kind of fixtures used and the way they are installed greatly varies. Let us consider an example of a toilet. The toilet in residential settings is floor mounted. The same type of toilet can be used in industrial and commercial settings too and some buildings use them, but in most commercial and industrial settings, toilets with a flush valve are used. The flush valve can either be manually activated or be flushed automatically.

If a wall hung toilet is required, a closet carried must be installed for it. This device supports the drainage, the fixture, and the individual on the fixture. Many residential plumbers aren’t familiar with fixture carrier and flush valves which mean that if you hire a residential plumber to handle installation of toilet in your commercial building, they won’t be able to get the job done.

As you can see, the challenges of commercial plumbing are much different than that of a residential plumbing. A plumber trained and experienced in handling residential plumbing cannot possibility tackle the issues of a commercial plumbing system. Therefore, we advise you to always hire the plumbers experienced in commercial plumbing for commercial settings.

At Mesa Plumbing Company, we are equipped to tackle the special needs of commercial clients. We work in medical buildings, warehouses and high rise offices and guarantee 100 percent customer satisfaction. We are available for a plumbing emergency 24/7. Call us at (480) 832-1660 and we’ll be there to fix your plumbing issues!

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Customer Comments

  • "In the past I called Mesa Plumbing to my home WOW Thank you Milo. Here is a big Gold Star for Mesa Plumbing for outstanding
    Steve Bergstrom
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